NEO Philanthropy Names Margarita Rubalcava New VP of Strategic Partnerships

Margarita (Magui) Rubalcava, a nationally recognized leader in the philanthropic intermediary and collaborative fund space, has been named Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at NEO Philanthropy. In this new position, Rubalcava will oversee NEO’s Donor Services and Fiscal Sponsorships departments, strengthen their connection and integration to other NEO programs, develop new business opportunities benefiting social justice organizations and funders, and deepen relationships with donors. She will also serve as interim director of Donor Services while NEO conducts a search for a new director of that department.

The announcement of Rubalcava’s position is part of NEO’s ongoing efforts to increase internal capacity as the organization grows and expands its programmatic services, especially in the donor services and fiscal sponsorship areas.

“This new role represents a strategic opportunity, building on our discussions through the strategic planning process we are currently undertaking for the need to better bridge the different departments within NEO,” said Michele Lord, NEO Philanthropy President. “Magui knows our work, having directed the Four Freedoms Fund years ago.  Her return to NEO at this important stage honors our history and informs our future.

“Magui helped innovate the collaborative fund model,” added Lord, “ensuring that the Four Freedoms Fund (FFF) remains strong after 19 years as one of the most impactful philanthropic efforts supporting the immigrant rights movement.  She helped funders understand that capacity building grants were just as important as programmatic grants and that it was important to ensure that we supported a richness of voices. Like all of us here at NEO, she is committed to and embraces the important role intermediaries like NEO play in the philanthropic space.”

Rubalcava is known as a Latina leader with an extensive track record of, and commitment to, changing philanthropy’s relationship with marginalized and underserved communities. Besides leading FFF, she was the founder and president of Borealis Philanthropy, a people-of-color-led $30 million-a-year philanthropic intermediary supporting critical movements of our time – the Movement for Black Lives, transgender and LGBTQ rights, immigration, criminal justice, policing reform and racial equity.

Over the last three decades, Rubalcava has worked with more than 150 local, national, and transnational funders and raised in excess of $160 million for grantmaking initiatives supporting movement building, policy advocacy, litigation, capacity building and direct services. She was recognized by the Council on Foundations as a co-recipient of the Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking in 2003 for her work in launching the Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities through Hispanics in Philanthropy. In addition to leading FFF, she has worked for the Otto Bremer Foundation and General Mills Foundation.

Rubalcava’s passion and interests were shaped by her experience emigrating to the U.S. as a child and growing up as one of 10 children in the Mexican immigrant community of East LA. Coming from a large family of mixed-immigration status, she is working on a book, “10 Different Truths” chronicling the varying experiences of the siblings in her family. She currently lives in Minneapolis.

 “I am excited to be re-joining NEO, as someone who knows the organization and its values and shares its passion for changing how philanthropy works, especially driving resources to the most marginalized and underserved communities and advancing justice,” said Rubalcava.  “I have been working as a consultant with NEO’s Donor Services and Fiscal Sponsorship departments over the last year and a half and am thrilled to help contribute to what they can accomplish and to help NEO as an institution continue to do the important work needed by philanthropy and the different fields NEO supports.”


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